tv Sanjay Gupta MD CNN May 7, 2011 7:30am-8:00am EDT
thanks for joining us. arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords. so dramatic when we saw her take those first public steps last week on the way to see the space shuttle. we'll get an exclusive look at some say extraordinary medical care that saved her life. we'll talk about that. also, osama bin laden is still making headlines after his death and this story cuts deep. here's a question. what do you say when your kids start asking questions? we'll talk about that. we'll take you to a wet house. this is a place where chronic alcoholics are giving free reign to drink and taxpayers are picking up the tab. let's get started. i've been traveling around the country the last few months working on the documentary about the remarkable recovery of congresswoman gabrielle giffords. people often stop me and ask how
exactly did she survive? it's a great question. i can tell you that part of our survival can be credited to three rookie paramedics. i returned to the tucson, arizona, safeway with them as they visited for the first time since the shooting. what they described was a scene that was organized chaos yet alsoe also early quiet at the time. they gave me some insight into what it was like inside that ambulance ride. shot at point-blank range in the head. the clock was ticking to save gabby. she had been down 30 minutes. the medics faced a critical decision. >> we were instructed to put her in a helicopter. we didn't hear a helicopter. didn't see a helicopter. >> the rookie paramedics triaging gabby made that split second decision to just go.
what happened? her head is over here? >> that's right. initiating an iv in her left arm. with he were continuing to check on her responsive level and decided we wanted to start another iv. that's when i came over to this area, which is a frequent thing for us to do. i stood here and during the entire transport i was working on this part of her body trying to get an iv established in her other arm. we had her on oxygen constantly monitoring every minute or so having her respond to us by squeezing our hands. >> i put her hand on my leg and i told her to squeeze my leg so i knew she was still with us. >> you guys are cruising. lights are going. flying along. were you standing like that? >> this is how i was standing. no other access to the right side of her body sitting in this
position. cole was working on her left side. our adrenaline was going pretty good and we were focused on treating gabby. >> are you measuring blood pressure constantly? >> blood pressure, her pulse, making sure she had pulses in her extremities and make sure she has it all of the way around. >> they talk about airway, breathing circulation. her airway you talk about the fact she was propped up. how were you assessing and making sure her airway is okay? >> we look inside her mouth to make sure there was no bleeding. watch her tongue to make sure it's not blocking her airway. >> when you are assessing her newer l nur logically, cole, it was her left hand she could squeeze. what else in terms of comfort or assessing pain and that sort of
thing? >> she was shot in the head. to have any level of responsiveness at all i thought was amazing. how quickly she responded too. it wasn't squeeze my hand and she slowly did it. it was squeeze my hand and she did it right away. >> it was clear and not a reflex. >> it wasn't something at random. always on command and immediately. constantly saying her name. she knew we knew who she was. to hear her name whether we were strangers or not gave her some comfort. >> with a head injury, do you think about pressure dressing versus no pressure dressing? does it make a difference to you? >> with this you don't want to press too much down on skull into fragments that could go on in there. bleeding had been stopped. >> bleeding pretty much stopped as a result of the initial pressure and then just on its own? >> i imagine, yes, sir. >> amazing as it might seem for someone shot pointblank in the head, gabby giffords was giving
these guys glimmers of hope. they needed her to hang on a few more minutes until they could get her to the hospital. are you trying to inform her of what's going on? keeping her abreast of what's happening? >> definitely. that's something we always try to do no matter what the situation. we try to let the patient know that i'm getting ready to stick you with an iv. we're going to take another blood pressure. this is what we're doing here so the patient is aware of what we're doing. it's not a shock to them. >> the entire time she was going to the hospital, was she alert and awake? >> she was responsive to pain or responsive to verbal. she would flinch if we spoked her or pinched her and she would squeeze our hands if we asked her to. her eyes -- she had swelling and her eyes were closed. we couldn't assess that level of responsiveness. for the most part we could see her wincing in pain with any moving. i don't know if anyone told her she had been shot. i don't know if she knew the circumstances she was involved
in. not many people know this between the two of us, there was less than two years experience as a medic. >> did you feel completely prepared to do what you needed to do that day? >> i think so. >> yeah. i agree. you rely so much on your training. >> your heart must have been racing. as calm as you were on the outside, it must have been a lot of adrenaline on the inside. >> absolutely. >> joining me sunday night at 7:00 eastern, got more on this remarkable life saving effort. you'll hear revealing and exclusive details of the extraordinary minute by minute that went into saving gabby giffords not only from medics but also her doctors and therapists. coming up, osama bin laden and a very vulnerable young audience. kids. we got that straight ahead. we were actually thinking, maybe... we're going to hike up here, so we'll catch up with you guys.
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questions like whether to release gruesome photos of the dead man. it's a lot for anyone to handle but especially for children because they see these things too. i really want to talk about this. i wanted to hear from wendy walsh, a doctor of psychologist, human behavior expert. i watch you all the time. i immediately thought of you and wanted to talk to you about this. i have three children. 5, 4 and 2 years old. you have two children as well. how do you explain this to children? >> well, i'm a big believer in if you can protect the little ones and keep them away from television news. i know they want to see daddy. you know, when they are young -- now it gets sketchy when you have an older kid exposed to more than the younger kid because there's a lot of bleed down of what they're exposed to. i wouldn't deal with it with small children unless you ask and you know they've been exposed to it. as kids get 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, i have a 12-year-old daughter,
they are tweeting about it in middle school. >> if they do learn about it and even if kids are slightly older than mine, how do you avoid what may be the consequence of that. excessive fear, nightmares even. >> first of all, in explaining it explain it in simple, concrete terms and use this as an opportunity to give whatever kind of spiritual teaching that your family believes. if you believe in afterlife or previous life and biology ends but energy goes on after you through teachings that you left, whatever. it's an opportunity to reinstate the sort of spiritual teachings of your family. if they are afraid, never force a child to buck it up when they are in distress. if they want to come into mommy's bed and need extra consoling, that's all good. they're children. >> right. let me ask you something else. i think tough to deal with for a lot of people but the idea that there was a celebration almost
or feel good spirit surrounding this death. obviously everyone knows what happened. is it ever okay to celebrate death? >> no. i don't think ever is okay to celebrate death. i think that this is an opportunity to again revisit the families of mourning for those lives lost in 9/11. any life causes some sadness somewhere. there were nine children under the age of 12 reported in that home at that time. they're not having a good day and they don't need to look on their tv and see us celebrating. my daughter who is just six got in trouble for writing the word kill on a piece of paper, on a note. she sees people cheering because we killed someone? that's very confusing to a small child. >> confusing for small children and for many adults alike. a tough week to reconcile that particular issue. wendy walsh s, pleasure to spea
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so you can unleash the power of your most valuable asset: your people. this next story really piqued our interest and spirited debate around the office. i want to tell you now about a home for alcoholics that lets them drink and it's funded by taxpayers. no matter what you think, it is an interesting concept for sure. these types of places are starting to pop up more frequently around the country. you spent a better part of a month traveling to these wet houses. tell us what you found. >> i talked with residents at
one minnesota facility that is really become a model for all of the others. it's the oldest of its kind in the country. like you said, it's the state of minnesota and catholic charities that share funding and operation of the facility. >> this is where i keep my clothing and stuff. >> it looks a lot like a college dormitory. >> this is the cafeteria here. >> residents are not students. >> this is a program that's designed for chronic alcoholic men. >> this is not your typical halfway house. >> the difference is there is alcohol in the mix. these are all men that have been through treatment numerous attempts. these are men that have lost their jobs due to alcohol, lost their housing due to alcohol, lost their relationships, lost their family and have really reached their rock bottom. >> the program manager refers to it as a harm reduction model. providing a shelter for alcoholics. they don't serve any alcohol but
residents are free to buy their own and then indulge here on the patio. >> this is a wet house. this is a place for people to drink and some of us choose not to drink and we don't a lot of the times. >> stories of success of sobering up and making a new life are the exception rather than the rule but that's okay. this place exists to give these men a home. a place to make their own decisions in what for many of them will be the last period of their lives. >> sad as it is, i'm grateful to say that you have the choice to die in a bed instead of on the street. >> this is my room. >> you keep your room pretty clean? >> i'm grateful to have a room to keep clean. >> after vodka ruined his career as a restaurant kitchen manager, nick found himself sleeping under a bridge. but for the last five years,
he's found a place to rest his head. on the standard issue twin bed in a modest 12x12 concrete room. >> it's clean. comfortable. safe. i would be in a bad position without a place like this. i would be running around panhandling and annoying people. >> he doesn't drink every day, but when he does -- >> if we have money in the morning you go and get drunk and drunk by the middle of the day and you come up here and knock out for a couple hours and then depending on what's going up, you wake up again and you go out and drink again. you are almost afraid to quit drinking because sometimes it just seems like that's all there is. >> in addition to a place to call home, nick also gets $89 a month from the state. and the day that money comes, he's up early to use it.
a few toiletries, new phone card, tobacco and after what seems like an eternity, the clock strikes 9:00 a.m. the liquor store is open. >> good morning. >> i know that it's from the taxpayers and all that, it's the way it is. >> it may not come as a shock the place has critics. bill hockenberger knows this. >> this is a harm reduction model that if anything these guys are cutting back on the amount of alcohol that they are drinking coming in the door. if we put it out there in a way and let them make the decisions and they feel a lot better about themselves. >> nick would love nothing more than to make a decision and sober up once and for all and to see his family again without feeling embarrassed. >> there are things i would like to do but that's out of the question. >> do you feel like it's a
possibility that you could spend the rest of your time here? >> well, that just depends on how much time i have left if you know what i mean. people die here all the time. >> that's true. now, sad update to nick's story. he died this past tuesday. the death isn't uncommon but even the staff felt nick was in good health relatively speaking to the other guys that live at this place. >> unbelievable to think about. did you get a general impression of what it was like there? >> i did. it can be a tough place to spend a lot of time for someone who says these guys are always drinking. you smell cheap vodka and cheap liquor everywhere you go. there's another side to it. these guys have a sense of worth. you asked me earlier whether i felt this was a model that works. it kind of depends on your definition of what work is. is the goal to get them to quit drinking all together, that's a
lofty goal but to get them off the streets and a place where they feel at home, it does that. >> it does seem like the end of the road for many of these people. they tried other things as you pointed out. you also talked about costs. can you put a price tag on this? how much does it cost and how much does it save? >> it is for each resident $50 a night. 60 residents there. total for all residents each year is about $1 million. the staff there are quick to point out when these guys are on the streets, they are going to prisons and emergency rooms and detox and a trip to detox alone is $200. one of these guys i met had been there over 400 times. they like to point out that this actually could save money. >> that's fascinating stuff. i appreciate the story very much. you'll appreciate this. we've been thinking a lot about the nature of addiction overall and next weekend you can see my special report patrick kennedy coming clean. you may know this. the former congressman, son of late senator ted kennedy,
struggled for years with addiction and depression. he was very candid with me. he had a lot to say about addiction. some of the same issues chris was just talking about. he wanted to talk about how we look at mental illness overall as a society. important topic. that's next sunday night 7:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. up next, could you overcome major depression with simple exercise? i want to tell you about how getting ready for triathlons helped save one man's life. ♪
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factor" the story of this man overcame the major obstacles to get his life back on track. dr. joseph ma rone remembers the moment his life fell apart. >> i had a major personal train wreck, within the course of a week, my father died, a marriage that was rocky ended, and i didn't have any reserve. i had to quit neurosurgeriry. >> reporter: death, divorce, depression, all happened in a matter of days. >> my mental processing was gone. i was -- >> rock bottom. >> i hit bottom. >> reporter: the crisis was so bad, dr. maroney contemplated suicide. but then came the opportunity. >> it was a phone call from a banker friend in wheeling, west virginia, who i think took pity on me and said joe, let's go for a run. i said -- >> your first response? >> are you crazy? >> reporter: but he did go for
that run. and he felt something go click. >> it was the first night that i slept in about four or five months. >> is that right? just getting a little bit of exercise in? >> four times around, i slept. >> reporter: he was running so much, he developed an overuse injury. so dr. maroon started to bike and then swim and slowly his depression began to fade. >> i started to feel strong again and was able to get back to neurosurgeriry, get back to my life. >> reporter: that's when he heard about triathlons. back then it was a new sport still in its infancy. he was hooked after his first race. >> you've down how many triathlons now? >> i've done 70 triathlons and seven iron man distance races. >> we came out here today, i didn't know if i would be able to keep up. now that we've been exercising, still not sure. >> how much of this improvement in your life would you attribute to the fact that you really
incorporated exercise into it? >> i just -- i know i wouldn't be here today if it weren't the case. >> now as we mentioned, joe maroon our human factor triathlete, is team physician for the pittsburgh steelers. we talked about the concussion crisis in football, we're dedicated it this on this show. you might also remember dave duwerson a retired nfl player who shot himself this year and left explicit instruction to use his brain for research after he died. the research results were announced this week and as dave may have suspected when he left those instructions his brain did show evidence of chronic dramatic ensep lop pathy, cte, the same disease found in 13 other nfl players. all of these cases share a common thread, repeated concussions and blows to the head. our sympathies go out to the duerson family. i want to thank all of you as well for being with us this morning. time to get you back to the cnn newsroom for a check of your